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Detroit: The Inequality Landscape

Written by Linda Campbell

I experience inequality when my 40 year plus near perfect driving record causes my insurance rates to be 3x that of my suburban peers.

I experience inequality when the police respond to an accidentally tripped house alarm in less than 5 minutes at my daughter’s midtown condo.

I experience inequality when I walk into a restaurant and 3 wait staff and myself are the only black people present as Motown classics blast in the background.

I experience inequality when Detroiters are described as being incapable of participating fully in all aspects of governance including a community driven Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) process.

I experience inequality when poor and low income women are characterized as not having the where with all to help their children succeed academically.

I experience inequality when I watch the Opportunity bus drive workers to their sheltered parking garage and I turn the corner and observe bus riders huddle against the wind and rain waiting for a DDOT bus that is more than an hour late.

I experience inequality when organic and locally grown spinach cost me $3/lbs and I stand in the rain to distribute emergency food to North End families.

I experience inequality when a 4 day youth curfew is being considered in order to exclude majority youth from  the “ Freedom” celebration in downtown Detroit.

I experience inequality when the private security guard in the black Humvee attempts to pull me over as my sister and I drive along admiring  the houses in Palmer Woods.

I experience inequality when 130 plus African American seniors are displaced from their downtown apartments at the Griswold, and no one shows up to blockade the door.

I experience inequality when water shut offs become common place and the Detroit Water and Sewage Department becomes the Great Lakes Water Authority.

I experience inequality when along with fellow activists I march to stop the largest home tax foreclosure in America’s history right here in Detroit

I experience inequality ¬- and it inspires me to be here today.

Movement Building Detroit inequality People's Platform race